Zinovy Zinik is a Russian-born British novelist, essayist and short story writer. Having lost his Russian citizenship with his emigration from the USSR in 1975, Zinik settled down in Britain in 1976. Ten years later he became a British citizen. The bilingual author of a dozen books of fiction, translated into u number of European languages and adapted for radio and television (The Mushroom Picker among them), Zinik is also a regular contributor to BBC Radio and The Times Literary Supplement.
Zinik’s latest comic novel Sounds Familiar or the Beast of Artek (Divus London, 2016) deals with made up identities, false sense of belonging and tricks of memory. Its protagonist is a Russian expat in London, an amateur sound engineer. He and his eccentric London friends are haunted – each in his or her own way – by the memory of certain disturbing events in their past lives, connected with peculiar sounds. They are manipulated into believing that they are potential victims of a sinister scientific experiment, codenamed “Artek” (an international pioneer camp in Crimea), in which sound is being transformed into the monstrous flesh. Zinik’s novel is a hot mixture of a Gothic horror story and an intellectual burlesque, of a political history and personal testimony – an entertaining piece of fiction by a well-established and internationally acclaimed writer.
Zinovy Zinik will be talking about his experience as a broadcaster, about the Gothic aspects of working for the BBC at the time of the Iron Curtain; about mystic and scientific experiments with sound and memory; about the literary tradition of depicting monsters and how his own Soviet past has been absorbed into the fabric of his new novel. The talk will be illustrated by autobiographical video documents and recordings.
Zinik has been living in Deal since 2008.